No home game, Pak to host Aus­tralia matches in UAE

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - COMMENT -

KARACHI: Aus­tralia have re­fused to any of the ODI series matches in Pak­istan due to se­cu­rity con­cerns and the two teams will now com­pete in the World Cup prepara­tory five-match series in the UAE. Af­ter much de­lay the

PCB on Sun­day an­nounced that the one-day series would be played en­tirely in the UAE from March 22 to 31. The PCB had in­vited CA to send its team to Karachi to play one or two matches and were hope­ful of con­vinc­ing the Aus­tralians to come to Pak­istan for the first time since 1998. PCB Di­rec­tor Cricket, Zakir Khan, how­ever, said that the CA has as­sured them that they will send their se­cu­rity ex­pert to over­see the ex­e­cu­tion of se­cu­rity plans for the PSL 2019 matches.

Colin Munro’s ex­plo­sive 72 set up a four-run win for New Zealand over In­dia in a cliff-hanger fin­ish to Sun­day’s Twenty20 match in Hamil­ton, hand­ing the hosts a 2-1 series vic­tory.

In­dia looked to be on the ropes when they needed 47 off the last three overs.

But Di­nesh Karthik and Krunal Pandya to­gether plun­dered 32 off overs 18 and 19 be­fore Tim Southee re­stricted the duo to 11 in the 20th.

“It was ob­vi­ously touc­hand-go there for us,” said Munro whose whirl­wind knock at the start of the match laid the plat­form for New Zealand’s 212 for four with In­dia 208 for six at the close.

The mo­rale-boost­ing vic­tory for New Zealand gave cap­tain Kane Wil­liamson some­thing to smile about af­ter they were whipped 4-1 by In­dia in the ear­lier one-day i nter­na­tional series.

“It came down to the last cou­ple of balls and it’s nice to come out on the right side,” he said.


It was a more som­bre mood in the In­dia dress­ing af­ter Ro­hit Sharma had won the toss and de­fied con­ven­tion by not bat­ting first in a series de­cider, say­ing his team pre­ferred to chase re­gard­less.

“It was pretty dis­ap­point­ing to not get over that fin­ish­ing line but I thought we fought re­ally well till the end,” he said.

“We started off re­ally well with the ODI series and we wanted to do well here with the T20.”

It was a vi­tal knock from Munro, whose po­si­tion in the New Zealand side ahead of the World Cup had been in question af­ter a string of fail­ures in the ODI and Twenty20 matches against In­dia.

But he was on song from the start of the de­cider, charg­ing down the track to smack Bhu­vnesh­war Ku­mar over the rope with the first ball he faced to kick off a fly­ing part­ner­ship with Tim Seifert.

The pair raced to 80 in the eighth over when the light­ning hands of MS Dhoni had Seifert stumped by a hair’s breadth for 43.

Munro’s bel­liger­ence saw him face just 40 balls in his Wick­ets


in­nings, flay­ing the bowl­ing with five fours and five sixes. He was re­moved by Kuldeep Ya­dav when he skied a ball to Hardik Pandya run­ning in from long-on.

Kane Wil­liamson (27) fell in the next over when he pulled a ris­ing de­liv­ery from left-arm pace bowler Khaleel Ahmed to Ya­dav at fine leg.

Colin de Grand­homme chimed in with 30 off 16 to en­sure New Zealand passed the crit­i­cal 200 mark for the sec­ond time in the series.


Vi­jay Shankar took an equally ag­gres­sive stance at the start of In­dia’s chase and the vis­i­tors were up at the re­quired run rate through the first half of their in­nings, but were un­able to es­tab­lish part­ner­ships.

Rishabh Pant belted a four and two sixes with his first three scor­ing shots and raced to 28 off

12 be­fore he be­came debu­tant Blair Tick­ner’s first vic­tim, swip­ing at a full toss that was caught at mid-wicket.

Sharma made 38, Hardik Pandya’s brief cameo pro­duced 21 while Ma­hen­dra Singh Dhoni, feted as the mas­ter fin­isher, could only make two in a brief stay at the crease.

With the game slip­ping away from In­dia, Din­ish Karthik pounded the bound­aries with 33 off 16 de­liv­er­ies while Krunal Pandya made 26 off 13 but they ended up four runs short.

New Zealand next host Bangladesh in a series of three ODIS and three Tests.

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